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Small house thread - Page 31

post #601 of 790
Our house is 1156sq feet, but ~500sq feet of that involves nee walls so it feels smaller. We're a family of 3. We won't be living there too much longer though, as we've put an offer in on a bigger house sans nee walls! I'm so excited to not be bumping my head all the time (you think after 5.5 years I would have figured out where I can walk safely).
post #602 of 790
We live in a 670 sqft apartment, four people, storage in the garage. I love the size with little ones. I always have visual access. The only problem is family visiting from out of state.
post #603 of 790
We are a family of 5. We live in about 1400 square feet of livable space. We have a "single car" garage that we use for storage. However, much of that is clear right now. When we bought the house we definitely settled. We wanted to stay within the city limits to maintain our car-lite lifestyle. I always thought we'd pop the top and massively expand. Enter the recession, no big remodel and I am so glad. We use every inch of space. Each kid has their own room. We even have a home office. The teenagers' rooms are in the basement as is the TV room. 7 year old is upstairs near us. Our rooms are small. Closet space is limited. But it keeps us constantly downsizing. We don't have a guest room but we can always throw a blow up mattress on the floor of the TV or living room. Last summer we had a family of 7 stay with us. The parents bunked in my daughter's room and all the kids stayed in a tent in the back yard!
Our next door neighbors have a similar house. They use their camper as a guest suite!
We have zabutons for casual seating when guests come over. For hosting a group for a sit down dinner, I have a side board type thing that folds out to a table big enough for 8-10. That's in our living room. We don't have a dining room. We also try to invite guests over during the summer months when we can eat outside. However, I had 20 folks over for dinner the night before my daughter's Bat Mitzvah last month. We did it cocktail party style. It was great fun.
post #604 of 790
Well, here I am back again. We took our house off the market because we can't remotely afford to move when we're going to have another child to support. We will soon be 4, and 5 when my mother comes to stay, people living in 680 square feet. I'm going to rename our house The Clown Car.

That said, I do have some relatively low-cost ideas for how to improve the horrible living room....
post #605 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat View Post
Well, here I am back again. We took our house off the market because we can't remotely afford to move when we're going to have another child to support. We will soon be 4, and 5 when my mother comes to stay, people living in 680 square feet. I'm going to rename our house The Clown Car.

That said, I do have some relatively low-cost ideas for how to improve the horrible living room....

When baby #5 was born I was so self conscious as we would all get out of the van. We had a friend along once and somebody actually asked me how many people I had in there.

As we all know there are good things about parenting wee ones in a small space. Quiet and privacy are not two that come to mind...
post #606 of 790
Juliacat- hugs to you! We're in a similar boat (clown boat?). Our house sits on a 24x22 foot slab foundation (and the second floor is a sleep loft so the ceiling isn't full height). There is just the two rooms... one down, one up... and baby number 3 is on the way!

We were given a gift from a relative to make a small addition but the process is really depressing. We actually had one contrcator visit yesterday and ask why we don't just "capitalize on what you have"... which turned out to mean "tear down this building and build a real house using the existing well/septic". Sigh. Apparently in his mind the only things we have worth keeping are a well and septic! All I want is a seperate space for the kiddos and enough room to bring the gorgeous dining table DH built into the house.

I got a copy of "Remodeling the Not So Big House" and hopefully that will give me some inspiration and encouragement! And maybe the next contractor will be a bit more in line with us.
post #607 of 790

Small houses are going to be the next "IN" thing!

I watched an interview about the economy and one thing they mentioned is that within the next 10 years small houses are going to become the place everyone wants to live. Say goodbye to flashy mcmansions. Small homes with small bills will be the new way everyone wants to live.

Well this is good news to those of us that are living in small houses. It means my property values will be less affected by all that is happening in the economy right now. Maybe being of Scottish lineage and very frugal will pay off in the end!

The timeline is right on. DH and I are about 5 years ahead of things usually.
post #608 of 790
An update... we saw another contractor over the weekend and he thought a small addition (perhaps a two story addition with a 12x12 foot footprint) was totally do-able and within our (very VERY small budget). He was ok with DH doing most of the work, including the initial excavation and ok with doing things as funding/material was available.

DH and I are meeting with a few more contractors but I'm feeling a bit better about this... and I am really enjoying the Not So Big book. A few of the houses are bigger than I'd imagine (one is 3000 sq ft!) but most are around 1000-1200 and while most of us in this thread have smaller homes than that, it's nice to see really spiffy "designer" spaces that are intended for real families with real budgets (I noticed a lot of IKEA in the book ) that are still "not so big".

We have a book called "Making Room" that is nice as well... not as family friendly in some places but lots of good ideas for arranging small spaces and finding functional spaces. One idea they mention a lot is "borrowing" just 5-6 inches of depth from a wall and putting in a floor to ceiling pantry wall. So either covered shelves running along a hallway, or building out a wall and putting in one of those sliding drawers (open on both sides?). We're planning on doing something like this to create kitchen storage space... we don't have halls or "extra" walls, but we're going to build out the back wall of the kitchen about a foot and have a pull out pantry. Eventually.

And of course the "Little House on a Small Planet" book is inspiring too though it's more of a "wow" and less of a "how" book.
post #609 of 790
How are all the small house dwellers doing? We moved in in March and we are good and settled now. We went from 1280 to 860 and let me tell you, I had a HARD time with it. I felt so crowded for the first month I was in tears almost everyday. But we made it! We had carpet installed and had to move everything in our house to our TINY living room and I got rid of almost half of what we had left, since we had already downsized. And I get rid of more everyday it seems.
BUT, we had a tiny dining table in our tiny kitchen and it just wasn't working. So we went shopping.... and fell in love with a locally handcrafted oak table that is BIG. It seats 8 and can be expanded for more. And we bought it. I love the table, not so much the stain, but we are going to refinish it. But it is so big! It is very comfortable to eat at, we have so much room. We do SO much stuff at the table, its our gathering place, homeschool, reading, talking, eating, playing games, legos.... But its so big! *sigh*
Maybe I'll post pics after I clean the house and you guys can tell me if its really just waaaaay too big.
post #610 of 790

" Small home, close family"

Our family lives in a small 3 bedroom 2 bath doublewide out in the country. We love it! My husband and myself along with DD (4) and DS (5 mons) and my brother-in-law...oh and our baby ball python . Our house is pretty small. The kitchen is the smallest and it doubles as a washing room. Its pretty easy to clean, not to mention that we have a big yard! The kids and i love this. If the small house gets to be too cramped, i put DS in his sling and DD and i go into the yard and plant some flowers or work in our little veggie garden. We live back in the boonies so its quite and we dont have to worry about many disturbances.

Sometimes when i get angry with our small kitchen, bumping into everyone while trying to cook dinner, DH says: "Small home, close family." I love that.

~Much Love and Light~
Hannah

: : : : :
post #611 of 790
Wow, what an awesome husband!
post #612 of 790
Because this unplanned pregnancy is going to break us financially, we won't be moving for a long, long time. So I guess we'll be here for a long, long time. I'm trying, with a large amount of success, to be optimistic and not let it bother me. Being in debt is worse than having a small house to me, I keep reminding myself!
post #613 of 790
I just found this thread and read through ALL of it the last few days. It is very inspiring. So I am subscribing hoping to hear more.

I wouldn't call my house small currently. It is about 1500 sf. I actually think it is way too big and I am dying to downsize, which we may do within the next year or so. First we have to do some fixing up on our current house and get it ready to sell.
post #614 of 790

Hi...small house owner also!

I love reading all of the creative ideas for small house living. We bought our 935 sq ft house 10 years ago when it was myself, DH and DS#1...now 2 more kids later we are still here. The house was built in 1941 and was a 2 bedroom, living/dining "great" room, kitchen and bath with a long one car garage off of the kitchen. The garage had been converted into an extra room when we bought it, and we eventually turned it into our bedroom. The oldest DS has his own room, and my DD and youngest DS share their room. Our bedroom is also the only way to get out of the house to the back yard, so lots of traffic through our room and lots of dirt tracked in, but we do have a big back yard...complete with a garden, a new 1.5 car garage and a swing set for the kiddos. We also have a large front yard that needs to be gated so we can let the kids play out front and plant more garden. I go from hating the lack of privacy (I am very introverted and need my alone time) to really appreciating the low mortgage, the family time and the small amount of time it takes to clean. We could go up, if the foundation would support it, or just keep it as is and be happy that we have a roof over our head! I am glad this thread is here and love looking at all of the pictures and getting inspired by all of the creativity. The original owner of my house raised 3 kids here and the owner that we bought it from, raised 2!! I don't think I could handle a huge house, I would be afraid that I would lose my kids LOL.
post #615 of 790
We (family of 4, plus cat and dog) share 1280 badly laid out square feet on a .04 acre lot with my small home based daycare (extra kid/s here 20+ hours per week). We have no garage, porch or basement, but do have some attic storage and an old shed.

After 3.5 years of selling and giving away and re-arranging things (and sometimes replacing with stuff better suited to our space) it is starting to feel not just big enough, but like a place with some breathing room and room to grow.

We managed 5 house guests very comfortably last month, and occasionally flirt with the idea of taking on a renter/ housemate, adding foster children into the mix, having another baby or getting a puppy (in no particular order).

Like some previous posters we just took the counter intuitive step of moving to a bigger kitchen table, and are excited about being able to eat around it with guests.

This thread it one of the only places I meet folks living in smaller homes than us, and I bet you all have wonderful ideas! I am off to hunt down the books recommended by previous posters.
post #616 of 790
Well, I've been a long time reader of this thread because we've been wanting to downsize for some time now. When our house sells, it is very likely we will be moving from 2000+ sq ft + 4/2, 2c garage, .25 ac in suburb hell>>>to a 3/2, 2 cg, .50 acres (garden yay!!)+ but a tiny 1200 sq ft in an small neighborhood in the country (Oh but the best part is this smaller house is BRAND NEW with a 5 year builder's warranty and it will paid for in cash!! no debt at all!)). We're going to have to get rid of a lot of stuff!
post #617 of 790
Wow! This is the exact thread I've been looking for - I'm so excited!

We are a family of 6 (hubby and me, kids ages 12, 8, 5, & 2) and we live in 480 sq. ft. - 240 main living area, 240 play area + storage. We also have 12 acres of outdoor play area

Everyone thinks we're crazy for choosing to live in such a small home. Lots of people wondered when we first moved if we were destitute or something! But we learned the hard way that things are not what makes for a happy life. We down sized progressively, making 2 moves to gradually get to where we are now. We've been in our current home 3 years now and still love it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting good ideas for organization and seeing what is working for everyone else.
post #618 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmkids42morrow View Post

We are a family of 6 (hubby and me, kids ages 12, 8, 5, & 2) and we live in 480 sq. ft. - 240 main living area, 240 play area + storage. We also have 12 acres of outdoor play area.
post #619 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmkids42morrow View Post
Wow! This is the exact thread I've been looking for - I'm so excited!

We are a family of 6 (hubby and me, kids ages 12, 8, 5, & 2) and we live in 480 sq. ft. - 240 main living area, 240 play area + storage. We also have 12 acres of outdoor play area

Everyone thinks we're crazy for choosing to live in such a small home. Lots of people wondered when we first moved if we were destitute or something! But we learned the hard way that things are not what makes for a happy life. We down sized progressively, making 2 moves to gradually get to where we are now. We've been in our current home 3 years now and still love it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting good ideas for organization and seeing what is working for everyone else.
Mama you impress me. I'd love to see pics if you feel like sharing? We have a good-sized apartment (about 900sq ft) for the three of us. Before that we were sharing 1200 with four other adults. I was pretty tired of having all thee of us crammed into our bedroom all day/night long. So we finally moved, yay! I am trying to make our place as efficient as possible, so I'm subbing to get ideas. You ladies are inspiring to me!
post #620 of 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmkids42morrow View Post
Wow! This is the exact thread I've been looking for - I'm so excited!

We are a family of 6 (hubby and me, kids ages 12, 8, 5, & 2) and we live in 480 sq. ft. - 240 main living area, 240 play area + storage. We also have 12 acres of outdoor play area

Everyone thinks we're crazy for choosing to live in such a small home. Lots of people wondered when we first moved if we were destitute or something! But we learned the hard way that things are not what makes for a happy life. We down sized progressively, making 2 moves to gradually get to where we are now. We've been in our current home 3 years now and still love it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting good ideas for organization and seeing what is working for everyone else.
WOW! I would love to know more about your sleep set-up. Do you just have one giant bed in the main living area? We cosleep with our 3 (soon-to-be 4) kids, but even still our bed alone takes up a good amount of space. What is the lay-out of your house?

We're thinking about building a house sometime soon, and I think we could maybe afford to build something in the 800-1000 SF range, so it's very inspiring to know that you have as many kids as we will and are doing it in half that much space!

Lex
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